Wedding planning advice from Top Wedding Suppliers!

As a professional magician who specialises in wedding entertainment I have performed at literally hundreds of wedding then add to that the wedding fairs and networking meetings I’ve attended too and sure enough I know A LOT of wedding suppliers.

All of these wedding suppliers have been involved in probably just as many weddings as me in that time and some even more so between us all we know a thing or two about wedding days and the wedding industry itself.

To help you have the best, most stress-free wedding day possible I’ve spoken to the top suppliers that I can personally recommend and asked them to provide me with their very best wedding tips.
Some of these ones are specific to their section of the wedding industry but they also include general tips for the day and planning itself.
Absolutely everything single one of the wedding suppliers listed below I can personally recommend to be a supplier at your big day.

Polly Smith – Wedding Planner – Blue Bay Events

Polly runs Blue Bay Events in Swanage which specalises in Wedding Planning and Wedding Venue Management amongst other things.
They have exclusivity over the wedding planning of some of the best venues including and not limited to the beautiful Durlston Castle in Swanage pictured above.

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Polly’s top wedding planning tip in her own words is one of my favourites and that’s why I’ve included it first!

“Don’t try and control the uncontrollable! Becoming neurotic about elements of the day that can’t be controlled will only wear you down and eventually make you resent the planning and possibly ruin the day for you. You cannot control the weather, the traffic, if guests fall ill, if speeches take longer than you asked…don’t even attempt to try and fix these things! Life happens regardless of how military styled your planning is, have provisions in place to allow for all eventualities possible, and those that are totally out of your hands, are not worth worrying about!”

Polly Smith, Blue Bay Events

I don’t think there’s anything I can add to that apart from the fact that I wholeheartedly agree!

Lisa Notley – Lisa Notley Cake Designs

Having had the pleasure of exhibiting at countless wedding fairs alongside Lisa I can say one thing for certain, she knows cake better than anyone I know!
In my mind there are two factors for a great wedding cake, how it looks and how it tastes and I can say, categorically, that Lisa has both of these covered.
Beautiful chocolate example pictured below!

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Lisa was kind enough to supply some great information about booking your wedding cake supplier as well as a general wedding tip too.

“When choosing a wedding cake designer a recommendation is a great place to start , whether that is from your friends and family, your wedding venue or your other suppliers – meet a few cake designers, either at local wedding fairs or at their premises.

Make sure that you have a good rapport with them, ensuring that you are able to work with them to enable the designer to create the perfect cake for your day.
It is very important that they are fully registered with the local authority and have the relevant insurance, b
eing registered means that the cake designer will have completed the necessary food hygiene course, their premises will have been inspected by the local environmental health officer ensure that their premises is fit for purpose.

They should be covered for public liability insurance.Do make sure you are able to taste a sample of the designers cake, as of course your cake should taste as good as it looks!”
Lisa Notley Cake Designs
Her non-cake related Wedding Tip is just as good and just as important!
“Try and spend a little time with your partner away from your friends and family and photographer as the day goes so quickly and you’ll find that you hardly see one another!
Just tell your bridesmaid you are going for a wander!”
Lisa Notley Cake Designs

Sadie Osborne – Sadie Osborne Photography

Sadie is a fantastic photographer with an awe-inspiring out look on life, an unrivalled passion for photography as an art form and a knowledge and love of a good cup of tea like no other.

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I asked Sadie for her top wedding tip but she went above and beyond the call of duty by providing not only 3 great tips that sum up her, her work and perhaps why you should book her but also illustrated these points perfectly with the three great photos she chose to be included all under the title “Extreme, Embrace, Enjoy”

“Extreme, Embrace, Enjoy”

  1. “Extreme – Your wedding day is a once in a lifetime event for you and your fianceé, you have put so much effort into the day and making it portray both your wonderful souls! With the photography, there are no limits to how much creativity you can use! if you have any ideas in your head that you want to do, ALWAYS talk to your photographer, your photographer is a creative at heart and thrives on the ideas that are out there and crazy.
    Don’t hold back and wish you did it… just do it!!
  2. Embrace – We live in Great Britain, we love to hate the weather and we spend most of our lives talking about the weather to others.
    DON’T let it ruin your wedding day, with the photography, you don’t need to worry about all the technical side as your photographer has it covered, he or she is already geared up on how they can creativity capture the day and embrace the rain or shine and how it makes your day even more unique.
    Your job it to just embrace it, take five minutes to yourself and maybe let a few worries out about how you didn’t want it to rain…. then get that dress on and embrace it!
    This is your day and whatever is happening in the sky makes it even more unique.
    If you want to dance in the rain later, do it! if you want to all hold umbrellas in your group shots, do it! if you want to splash in that massive rain puddle and dance around like you are the happiest person on earth.. do it and EMBRACE!
  3. Enjoy! With most clients I talk to, the group shots are the most dreaded.
    No one really enjoys them and no one likes to stand around and wait.
    So my top tip as a photographer is to find a way to ENJOY it – group shots don’t have to be boring! Group shots are an ideal way to have a little bit of fun with your family members and friends. They also don’t have to last long either!
    If your photographer is a bit crazy and likes fun, they will know what to do to get you enjoying the traditional parts of a wedding

Sadie Osborne 

Kirsten Sare – Kirsten Sare Make-Up Artist 

Kirsten is an incredibly talented, experienced and, very importantly, qualified make-up artist who not only keeps up to date with modern trends she also knows about the history of make-up as well. As a wedding supplier who is friendly, approachable, flexible and passionate about getting the right look for YOU I really couldn’t recommend her more highly. An example of Kirsten’s excellent and beautiful work below

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Kirsten’s Top tip is about hiring Wedding Suppliers in general.
“Recommendations are incredibly important as are verified reviews and testimonials. However I think the most important thing when choosing a supplier is that you feel you have a connection with them and that you could actually talk to them about anything – not just your wedding!” Kirsten Sare

Tom Wishart – One Thousand Words Wedding Photography

Tom and Murray make up the brilliant two man team at One Thousand Words Wedding Photography. They are recommended photographers at countless beautiful wedding venues across the south and have shot weddings in some stunning locations worldwide as well. Their relaxed documentary style combined with their fun approachable demeanour result in truly stunning photos which capture your day in an truly natural way which I personally think is how photos should be taken. 

Highcliffe Castle – One Thousands Words Photography

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“Avoid checklists written by other people, especially wedding it comes to Wedding Magazine’s “must have shots”  – your photos should be as unique as your wedding day and that’s not going to happen with everyone working from the same checklist! We get asked all sorts of ridiculous questions by members of the wedding party and these normally just end up stressing the bride out – trust in the photographer that you’ve paid good money for – you’ve seen their work, that’s why you booked them – trust them to use their experience to capture your day perfectly.” Tom Wishart, One Thousand Words Photography 

Vikkie – Dreaming of Vintage

Vikkie runs Dreaming of Vintage which is a hire company that can provide practically anything for your wedding day. The company believes that the ultimate way to have the best possible wedding is to ensure that the day reflects the couple perfectly. Their incredible range of items range in both style and theme so whether it is huge light up love letters required at a stately home or a beautiful rustic chic wedding arch for your marquee wedding Dreaming of Vintage have 100% got you covered!

Dreaming of Vintage at Highcliffe Castle Wedding Fair Website –

“Work out what you must have, what you couldn’t go without on your wedding day. If you were to look back on your wedding day in 3 or even 30 years time what would be that one thing would make that day really special and memorable? If there is something you really want and it is outside of your budget then find a way to perhaps make a couple of changes, save a little extra each week, perhaps cut back on those Costa coffees, could you walk to work? Maybe juggle the guest list? Do you really need your 2nd and 3rd cousins who you haven’t seen in 10 years at your wedding day or could they just come to the evening reception? Ask friends and family to perhaps contribute towards a wedding day fund instead of gifting a wedding present.”

Vikkie – Dreaming of Vintage 

Dan Roads – Dan Roads Photography

Dan is a Weymouth based photographer who primarily shoots weddings but is also well known for his excellent shots of the beautiful local scenery as well as his comical photoshopping of things such as the Weymouth Sealife tower getting bent during a storm!

Dans Roads capturing the true emotion of guests! Website –

“Hmmm, my top tip would be to try not stress, enjoy every minute as it goes by so fast. It all comes together in the end so relax and have a blast!” Dan Roads – Dan Roads Photography 

Jess – West Dorset Wedding Flowers 

I am not someone who knows much about flowers but I do see an awful lot of them due to them being a staple of every single wedding. Normally for me they’re a little bit of something and nothing and are just part of the day but the breathtaking displays that Jess at West Dorset Wedding Flowers creates are nothing short of jawdropping – I honestly have never seen work quite like hers before! 

Beautiful Flower Circlet by West Dorset Wedding Flowers

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“If you dream of basing your wedding theme and colour scheme around your favourite flower, please check it’s seasonality before you book your wedding date.

Whilst many flowers are available all year round now, there are still many bridal favourites that have distinct seasons, such as peonies, dahlias, sweet-peas, orchids and ranunculus.”

Jess – West Dorset Wedding Flowers

Tracy Carroll – Wedding Time Bridal Salon and Men’s Formal Wear

 Tracy is an absolutely stalwart of the Dorset wedding industry, highly respected, dependable and bloody lovely so it comes as absolutely no surprise whatsoever that she is one of the recommended wedding suppliers for so many of the county’s very top venues! 

One of Dorset's best wedding suppliers

Stella York dress at Wedding Time

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 “I think that my top wedding tip would be for the bride to give herself plenty of time to choose her dress.

They can take 4-5 months to order in, from there we normally allow approximately 6-8 weeks to make adjustments and alterations to dresses enabling us to see the bride every 2 weeks on the run up to her wedding.”

 Tracy Carroll – Wedding Time 

 Lucy Crawley – LucyLou Photography

I wrote a blog a couple of years back about Lucy and her excellent photography skills in which I described her as being like a photography ninja due to her seemingly be able to stealthily navigate a wedding taking a huge array of beautiful shots without guests noticing meaning that she captures the true emotion and feeling of one of the most important days of your life. She’s a Hampshire based photographer and one of the busiest wedding suppliers around, book early to avoid disappointment!

At the time of writing she is also planning her own wedding too! 

The Italian Villa – Lucylou Photography

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“Take time for yourselves! – The day goes by so quickly and it can be overwhelming trying to get around to chat to all of your guests individually; make sure that you actually make time for yourselves as a couple to enjoy each others company and being newly married.
It’s so easy for the day to just go by without spending any quality time on your own with your new husband or wife and it would be such a shame for this to happen on your wedding day.

 Use spreadsheets and have a wedding folder – I personally try and keep everything digital wherever possible and have created spreadsheets for my budget, expenditures and guest list, which makes it easier to keep track of everything and you can just update them as and when you need to. Not everything wedding related is digital though, so it’s also great idea to have a folder to keep all of your wedding documents in, like vendor contracts and receipts for purchases as well as inspiration and ideas.

Keeping it all in one place keeps everything wedding related organised and easy to find.”

 Lucy Crawley – Lucylou Photography 

Charlotte – Lily and Lottie Stationery

Wedding invitations eh? Why not just buy some index cards and write them all in black sharpie and send them out because they just go in the bin anyway right?

Lily and Lottie are on a crusade against this way of thinking by creating high quality wedding stationery from the the very best materials to the very highest standards – but why?
That’s very simple to answer – your wedding invitation is the VERY FIRST THING that a guest will have to tell them about the tone and feel of your wedding, not only that it is a wonderful keepsake for the day itself. 

One of Lily and Lottie’s beautiful invitation designs 

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“1. Only one invite per household – sounds obvious but the amount of couples that ask for prices for 100 invites when they only need 50 – 60 is surprising! 

2. Do order a few extra invites, you’ll want them in case of people you may have missed off the list or maybe you might have the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ some evening guests should you receive some declines, it’s also a lovely keepsake for your memory box. It always costs a little more if you need to order just an extra 5 than it does to include a small contingency initially. 

3. Guests often forget to write their names on the RSVP so get ahead of the game by numbering the reverse of your RSVP’s and allocating each household with a number. 

4. Envelopes – they taste awful after licking 40 of them! Either use a pritt stick to seal them or a little warm water on a cotton bud, just run the cotton bud over the seal and stick down as normal.” 

Mark Gerrard – Pegasus Discos 

Anyone who is anyone in the Dorset wedding industry knows Mark, he’s a 25 year veteran and one of the most respected wedding suppliers out there – proven by the fact that he is the regular host for the Dorset Wedding Supplier Awards.
During his time he has evolved his business and is known for his hashtag #notjustadj he can offer a full day hosting service as well as providing lighting and of course the music for the day too! 

Pegasus Disco

Pegasus Disco’s Confetti Shower

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“Build up a relationship with all of your suppliers and on the day you will be able to relax knowing they are ‘friends’ and will want to give you the best day possible.


After the speeches and before your evening guests start arriving find a quiet place or go to your room and just spend some time with each other to reflect on the day so far.”

Mark, Pegasus Discos